The DispatchThe Dispatch

Elon Musk’s CCP pressure points

By Alec Dent

17 Apr 2023 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

The Chinese Communist Party has many ways to apply pressure on Elon Musk, therefore it is unsurprising that he is "full of praise for the communist dictatorship," according to this Dispatch analysis.

Twitter’s April 4 decision to label National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting Service as “state-affiliated media” was met with wide criticism in the West—especially since Twitter’s definition of “state-affiliated media” specifically noted NPR was not such an outlet. But its warm reception by Chinese government-affiliated Twitter accounts only underscored the fact that the man running one of the largest social media companies in America has a vested interest in remaining on good terms with the country’s biggest geopolitical foe.

A few days after the NPR and PBS flap, Twitter CEO Elon Musk announced that another of his companies, Tesla, would be opening a second factory in China. The country is the second largest market for Musk’s electric-car company, which produces nearly half its cars there. Tesla also works with a Chinese Communist Party-affiliated battery producer, has $1.6 billion in loans from Chinese banks, and leased the land it uses for factories from the Chinese government. It also accepted a $1.8 billion investment from Chinese tech company Tencent, which owns a 5 percent stake in Tesla and which earlier this year had the Chinese government take “special management shares” in the company to ensure greater control over the company.

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